I often find myself rolling my eyes a bit whenever I hear the Christmas song “Silent Night” during this time of year. You see, silent nights have been very few and far between in our house for the past 21 years—ever since we brought our oldest daughter, Maddie, home from the hospital.
I have been writing this column for 19 years, and I have covered a lot of topics and chronicled many of the aspects of my and my family’s lives. But one topic I have not addressed head-on—or at least as strongly as I could—has been mental health.
Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to gift-giving I have two rules, the most important of which is this: no gift cards. My second rule has to do with what I see as the redundancy of getting a greeting card and a gift, but that’s not what I want to talk about here. That first rule is especially important to me at Christmastime.
Before I lost my dad this past summer, every time I would step off the elevator at the nursing home to head to his room I would hear the familiar sound of his television blaring one of the many news programs he watched consistently.